Consumer advocates campaign to protect renters from property damage debt
A number of major insurance companies across Australia have recently changed their policies about accidental property damage, promising greater protection for renters from demands to repay debt.
The change is the result of campaigning by CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group, and the community legal centre WESTjustice, who have seen insurance companies send renters huge bills for accidental damage. Case studies included instances where renters were given 14 days to pay a bill nearing $78,000 over an accidental kitchen fire, and another case where a renter was billed over $133,000 because of a fire caused by an electrical fault.
The campaign has positively influenced insurance companies to improve their current practices, but the question remains whether the policy change goes far enough